“This is like fate,” Kylie Minogue says during the moving opening montage of slow-motion people, and I guess, in a way, she’s right. Although in another way, I have no idea what she’s talking about. Unless she means that being a judge on The Voice is just a natural part of one’s career arc, after a starring role in Neighbours and then being a pop singer. Next season: Stefan Dennis?
Anyway, The Voice is, of course, all about the voices, and the season opens with a powerful rendition of Hall of Fame by all four judges, in order to demonstrate the minimum vocal standard that the contestants will have to exceed to continue in the competition.
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Kylie Minogue claims her judging seat
Kylie joins the Voice's judging team and six contestants are quickly snapped up by the coaches at the start of a new season.
The first contestant we meet is “Kat Jade”, who wears cat ears on her head and “isn’t afraid to be herself”. So yeah, this is going to be a long, hard season. Kat sings one note of Wrecking Ball and the crowd goes wild, proving that the crowd has been drinking massive amounts of paint before the show and their judgment cannot be trusted in the slightest. Kat points at Kylie. Kylie does a cat-ears motion with her hands and there is no God. Kylie and Joel spin around. Kat laughs. Kat snorts. Kat laughs again. Kat snorts again. Kat thinks she’s pretty great. Joel says Kat has a unique voice even though she clearly doesn’t. Kat chooses Kylie. Kat gets Kylie to sign her friend’s chest. Kylie puts on cat ears. A disembodied Scotsman’s voice appears from nowhere. We are no longer dwelling in reality. This Is The Voice.
The next hopeful is Matt, who has a hat and no other characteristics that match that fact for interestingness. He “sings” New York State of Mind, in the same way that a butcher “sings” a pig’s carcass. Naturally the audience screams after the first note, and the judges, having demonstrated that they know what a piano is by doing twiddly motions with their fingers, all spin around and tell some more lies about how good Matt is.
Maybe this would be a good time to mention some of the fascinating tweets appearing on screen during the show. Oh. Turns out I was wrong. Never mind.
Next contestant is Frank, whose dad used to play the accordion, and sings Immigrant Song just as well as you’d expect the son of an amateur accordion-player to. The judges really love him, because they’ve never heard of Led Zeppelin and are making all their decisions based purely on volume. Except Will.i.am, who’s not as drunk as his colleagues and has actually been listening.
Apparently there’s nearly an hour of this to go.
Here we have Anja, who rides a dirt bike and claims that a lot of people say she gets her big voice from living out in the country, although she is suspiciously reluctant to name any of them. Anja sings a Mariah Carey song, because that’s the kind of fresh, original, maverick, think-outside-the-box, innovator she is. I guess she’s OK. I’m not sure the judges can even hear her. They’re all too focused on the voices in their heads. The voices tell them to spin around, and they do so and find out Anja is a hot blonde teenager, rendering her voice irrelevant from this point on. Joel tells Anja, “You’re what this show’s about”, proving his professionalism by actually making it sound like he thinks that means something. “I can tell you love to sing,” he adds, possibly tipped off by her presence on a popular televised singing competition.
Anja finds the decision of choosing a coach so agonising she is forced to have a commercial break just to deal with the pressure.
She picks Will. Nobody’s going to pick Ricky. Nobody likes Ricky. He’s coming off too needy. They’re all afraid that once they get a record deal he’ll beg them to record a duet of Baby It’s Cold Outside with him.
There is then some quick footage of big losers who weren’t good enough. They seem pretty much exactly as good as the people who are good enough, but what do I know, I’m no Minogue.
Next contestant is Nat King Cole’s nephew. Seriously, it is. I bet Nat never thought his nephew would be a contestant on The Voice Australia. Probably for the best really – he had enough adversity to overcome in his life. Lionel Cole declares though, that he wants to “carve out my own niche”, which he does by stepping out and singing Unforgettable, Nat King Cole’s most famous song. Way to be your own man, Lionel. Though to be fair, he is wearing a skirt, so I guess he felt he had enough individuality. Lionel actually sings quite nicely, but the judges, who prefer people who can effectively water down the music of Led Zeppelin, are hesitant. Eventually two of them spin around – Ricky is devastated to find Kylie spun around too. Will he never find a friend? Lionel then begins hugging/assaulting everyone. Ricky would love to work with Lionel, but Kylie has been making it incredibly obvious how much she wants to get up Lionel’s skirt via a sort of Basic Instinct wriggle, so it’s a tough call.
But he picks Ricky! Finally, pity pays off!
Up steps Rosemaree, whose dad is in the audience, unaware his daughter is auditioning. So he must be utterly baffled as to why he’s there, given he’s not a thirteen-year-old girl. And he is indeed stunned to see her there. And when she starts singing – well, no doubt he felt some kind of emotion at some point!
Rosemaree sings Can’t Fight The Moonlight. Well, she forms the words of Can’t Fight The Moonlight, anyway. Whether it really qualified as singing is a matter for Wikipedia. Prior to her performance, she told us that her dad is both her biggest fan and her toughest critic: after her performance, the second part is definitely no longer true.
Next up is Ricky Martin! Wait, no, it’s some guy called Carlos, who sings Crazy In Love, causing Kylie to get up out of her chair and dance because she saw Delta do that once so she assumes it’s something she’s supposed to do, unaware that it’s actually what got Delta fired. Everyone’s chairs spin around because after Rosemaree, Carlos sounds like Pavarotti in contrast. To more rational ears, he sounds kind of more like some random dude singing Crazy In Love, but he’s more or less in tune, so I guess that’s enough on this show. Carlos chooses Ricky, in a story that is developing disturbing echoes of The Talented Mr Ripley.
And so we come to the end, and there’s a recap of which singer picked which coach, almost as if anyone cares. Tomorrow night looks amazing though – apparently there’s going to be singing!